FP: Hi Marrtje, would you say that your most recent collection ‘Relfect Horridus’ (BAFW,14)has some underlying connections to your recent projects and past work ?
(Smiles) The designs are all different, as for my projects I like to involve a lot of music, other artists and producers, so my work is very suitable for integrated technology. I’ve always been interested in this, so it’s a perfect combination of future fashion.
FP: Fashion design is one of many areas in which you work in and being a multi-faceted artist has in itself contributed to the development of your creations; have your fashion-related projects enabled you to connect with other artists?
MD: Yes I think so, I have my own label and I do everything my self, so as an independent designer you're stuck in your studio for hours alone.The whole process of designing is something I enjoy, I would not want to be the director of a fashion company as you are not as directly involved in your work as you'd usually be. Working with other artists it just stepping away from a normal routine, as well as being inspired by other people as well. It's always refreshing to see other people’s views and opinions and solutions as that is also really challenging; for me it’s the best opportunity to work with other people.
FP: What made you want to involve tech into your fashion designs?
MD: It is still a thing I have to think about more, it’s increasing and it’s a trend, however I am always cautious with trends as I don't tend to work with them, I just do my own thing; I guess it’s the choice I make. Since I draw inspiration from music producers who work with my designs , I like to keep an element of surprise when my collection is being showcased; obvious is boring.
FP: Looking at Reflect Horridus, it has a lot of dark angles to it, can you say much about your most recent collection showcased at BAFW 2014?
MD: (Laughs) The fashion week was a great experience, when we first spoke I had just finished a few pieces. Everyone’s own interpretation of dark differs, and my imagination is my biggest source of inspiration. I also find nature inspiring; it can be the darkest thing for me because it's so complex yes so perfect and eternal. For Reflect Horridus, patterns also play a big part, the initial structure of the designs creates silhouettes and shapes which might not be apparent when seeing the design on a hanger but they grow and morph as each design progresses when worn.
FP: Working with tougher materials that bring together the ‘wearable-tech’ you create, can lead to some challenges. Have there ever been times when you've launched a project and things haven't gone to plan, what's made you pull through?
MD: I think it’s my personality to be honest. I mean it can be annoying when people don’t pick the correct materials, the hardest part can be to integrate materials, as they can be very difficult to work with. Some materials don’t compliment each other and it can be very frustrating, and very expensive. But you have a deadline, and you have to do it.
FP: Would you say that new materials in ‘Hardcore Vein 2.0’ are easier to work with?
MD: As the only way to create this piece is using a 3D printer, its important to try and keep as many natural elements within the design such as rock and wood but with a mix of plastic gold or silver; finishing with a glass like sculpture.
FP: Although a lot of your work seems futuristic there are elements of your work that unites nature and tech; when you use 3D Printing do you find the creative process cyclical?
MD: Yes, I think so! It’s like everything originates from nature, even 3D Printing.
FP: So, ‘Hardcore Vain’ piece a part of your latest Reflect Horridus collection?
MD: Well it’s actually more like a performance piece than an actual segment.
FP: Do you find the platform BAFW offers is more suitable for you as a designer with your designs, which are more performance based?
MD: Yes, it can be, because now I have more time than three minutes on a runway, I think it’s brilliant. At times I find fashion superficial due to the hierarchy of the industry, the ones on top decide what's a trend and what's not and at times it doesn’t feel like fashion anymore. Yes fashion tech gives me an opportunity to express my self it’s not only fashion, it’s also art; there’s more freedom. If you like it or not, it doesn't matter to me, but if you came out of the show and thought, wow, I was really in a different place, I really saw some interesting things, and I'm inspired, then that’s the most important thing for me as a designer.
FP: Apart from 3D printing what are the new technologies you use in the Hardcore Vein Project?
MD: This piece is a combination of everything I stand for, sculpture designing, illustration, and music; its quite progressive, something that's never been done. It will be the next step in my career, as I would like to develop this angle on fashion tech more, however it is a very piece. Fortunately, we have a small fund in order to develop a ‘research period’ such as looking into materials, different types of ink as well as ways to create illusions from hand drawn illustrations. The 2.0 stand for the second prototype, and I am now working on a new final piece...it is 3D printed PET, transparent with liquid/ink inside that reacts on the beat of
the music ; the new piece will be 0.3 and we will be integrating this piece inside a jacket as well as the trousers, this will be launched at end of this year.
FP: Your designs fuse art and science together;
MD: I find myself a-technical, as in being non-technical.It all stems from my up bringing, since my brother is a researcher and my father an artist, these interests has merged two fields together. Today you can almost do anything, creatively there are no restrictions, it's fascinating, the opportunities are getting bigger and bigger. Work is...endless.
FP: What’s your creative process when designing a piece of work?
MD: I never stop drawing and it’s important to collect materials with a time restraint in mind. I enjoy sourcing my materials, then I start working; sometimes it's good but sometimes after three, four weeks, it can turn out to be nothing. Then you start again, as it’s all-handmade a dress can take up to four months.
FP: Okay, that's dedication.
MD: (Laughs) Yes, it takes about two years to create a collection.
FP: Is there a certain type of music that inspires you during the creative and exhibition process?
MD: I really like electronic music; my boyfriend and my friends are all producers. I love jungle. The creative process of music is something that is always around me, music is extremely powerful.Techno is also a big part of the fashion tech scene and I find it helps create a diverse, ambient atmosphere.
FP: Referring back to wearable tech, are there any materials that have been recycled?
The company I’m working with produces traffic lights and the materials I use are new. I would like to think of my self to be a magpie, I like shiny things.
Can you tell us about the project ‘Denze Fadden’?
The translation of the word is a mix between Dutch, German and English. In all there are six golden zippers, and when you push the zipper up and down it acts as a midi controller. It achieves a rather surprising effect because it looks very high fashion, you don't see any wires, except one.(Laughs) We didn't have enough time to make it wireless so there is one wire attached to the jacket.
Did you learn all your skills at Fashion School; would you say your Fashion Bachelor has been useful?
I had an internship at Alexander McQueen in London which helped my curiosity for sculptures grow, however I’ve always been fascinated by pattern making. It was interesting when I reached the stage in deciding what I wanted to do; creating my own label and creating everything my self has made everything harder, but I enjoy it.
Stating that you are only a fashion designer undermines the sheer amount of work you produce, could you tell us more about your jewelry collection, which was showcased alongside ‘Reflect Horridus’?
The new jewelry range is called ‘Implant’. It has stones that resonate with nature, which are like a water seeds, very dark and alien looking, I like to use mother of pearl as the shape from the stones is used as a mold for the jewelry. I use a mixture of silk, wires and polyester wires that are sewn around the mother-of-pearl to make them glisten.
Thank you very much for your time Marrtje
This interview was conducted by Fahr Projections (have a look, they're a lovely bunch).